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P02.64. Vitamin D sufficiency is necessary for integrative treatment-associated improvements in chronic pain status

Purpose

To examine the relationship between improved vitamin D status and reported severity of chronic pain.

Methods

Prospective observational study over 12 weeks of 252 patients with pain of any source lasting more than 6 months who sought integrative medicine evaluation and treatment at one of 9 Bravenet clinical sites across the United States. Interventions were not mandated. Baseline vitamin D status was reported to each clinician. Treatment options included conventional therapies as well as acupuncture, nutrition, massage and mind-body skills training. Measurements included the Brief Pain Inventory and 25-OH-vitamin D status.

Results

A total of 252 adults met eligibility criteria. Mean 25-OH-vitamin D levels and standard deviations at the start and 12 weeks later for all participants were 33.43 (17.05) and 39.58 (16.29). (p <0.0001). The subset of low back pain patients demonstrated similar values of 32.71 (14.34) increasing after 12 weeks to 39.19 (13.26) (p <0.0001). Of all participants, 153 (60.7%) achieved 25-OH-vitamin D levels above the 2010 international recommendation of ≥ 30 ng/ml and 99 (39.3%) did not. Of all 136 back pain participants, 90 (66.2%) achieved levels ≥ 30 ng/ml and 46 (33.8%) did not. Median average pain scores decreased from 5 to 4 during the study. Regardless of the integrative therapies applied, achievement of a serum level ≥ 30 ng/ml was necessary for significant improvement in average pain (p =0.0018 for all patients, p =0.022 for all back pain).

Conclusion

Chronic pain patients who sought integrative medicine demonstrated a high incidence of vitamin D deficiency. In the setting of additional treatments, serum levels ≥ 30 ng/ml were required for significant improvement in average pain scores. Failure to achieve a serum level ≥ 30 ng/ml represents a confounder of any therapeutic intervention in both clinical practice and clinical trials for chronic pain including chronic low back pain.

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Correspondence to G Plotnikoff.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Plotnikoff, G., Dusek, J. & BraveNet Practice Based Research Network. P02.64. Vitamin D sufficiency is necessary for integrative treatment-associated improvements in chronic pain status. BMC Complement Altern Med 12, P120 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-12-S1-P120

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Keywords

  • Back Pain
  • Chronic Pain
  • Pain Patient
  • Chronic Pain Patient
  • Chronic Pain Status